Netherlands Pushes Back At CJEU Ruling (Update)

With International Court of Justice in The Hague ruling it rightly imposed fines on illegal online gambling operators

A new ruling from the International Court of Justice in The Hague last week supports the Dutch gambling regulator, kansspelautoriteit’s (KSA), policy of imposing fines on illegal online gambling operators in opposition to a recent Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) ruling in favor of Unibet operating in the Hungarian market (see previous InfoPowa reports).

The ruling related to the KSA’s imposition of fines on Malta-based Co-Gaming Limited (formerly Come On) and Gibraltar-based operators Onisac Limited and Mansion Online Casino Limited.

The court considered in the ruling, inter alia, that as online gambling is prohibited in the Netherlands by Law, the KSA is competent in acting against it which is in line with the law of the European Union.

The KSA said it is pleased that the court supports its policy to address these providers in the interests of consumer protection.

This will be a ruling that Betsson will review with interest given its insistence that the European Union (EU) revisit the Netherlands regulatory framework in light of a perceived non-compliance with EU law.

The Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) ruling in late June said that regulatory authorities in European Union (EU) member states who persecute EU licensed operators by excluding them from national licensing processes are in breach of EU law and cannot apply enforcement actions such as fines or ISP blocking (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Following that ruling, Betsson vowed to “continue its business as usual”, saying it would “continue providing Dutch customers the best customer experience in a safe and regulated environment.”

The company also said at the time that it would “vigorously defend any attempt of enforcement”.